Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 350+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99c
Then just $9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

Great Adventures: Mungo Park

Pat Kinsella hunts out a Scottish explorer who risked all in pursuit of the route of Africa’s Niger River


TRAVEL JUNKIE Park’s travels took him to places no European had ever been before, seeking adventure and reputation

“Park set off along the Niger from Sansanding in a customised canoe, never to be seen again”

On 19 November 1805, as he stood by the banks of the African river that would ultimately define his life, 34-year-old Mungo Park must have realised that his quest to unlock the enigma of the Niger would now likely end with his death.

Already he’d buried his brother-in-law, along with many more men. Of the 44 Europeans who had enthusiastically joined his expedition mere months earlier, only five remained – and one of those was out of his mind. Mungo’s own mind, however, was made up. “I shall set sail for the east with the fixed resolution to discover the termination of the Niger or perish in the attempt,” he wrote to the head of the Colonial Office. “ Though all the Europeans who are with me should die, and though I were myself half dead, I would still persevere, and if I could not succeed in the object of my journey, I would at least die on the Niger.”

The legendary city of Timbuktu was considered a source of wealth as early as the 15th century. It’s at the bottom of this map, on the banks of the (very linear) Niger River

The prescient letter was entrusted to his Mandingo guide, Isaaco, who transported it back to The Gambia for transmission to Britain. And then Park – accompanied by four European soldiers, a native guide and three slaves – set off in a canoe along the Niger from Sansanding, modern-day Mali, never to be seen again.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - September 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
September 2017
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new BBC History Revealed Magazine subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.54 per issue
Was $40.99
Now $32.99
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.15 per issue
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.61 per issue

View Issues

About BBC History Revealed Magazine

Inside, Tudor historian Alison Weir uncovers one of the most "grievous miscarriages of justice" in English history, we find out why the Vietnam War was doomed from the start, and explore the secret life of Albert Einstein, from his rebellious childhood to his scandalous affair.